andy: 2011年12月アーカイブ


I've always thought that routine is one of the most important elements of a good training plan.

Whether its 4 am early morning "asaren" in the summer or 8pm on the rollers in the winter. A parent's training time is largely confined to the kids' sleeping time.


Recently I've been living as the woflking of the South Pacific.

Getting up before the kids for a swim before breakfast. Jump in to shorts. Grab the goggles. Dive in.

This is when the current is strongest and the fish most active.


After a day playing on the beach, Luke and Mark need a nap before dinner. Jump in to dry shorts (never run in wet ones!). Grab some music (John, the Wolfking of L.A.) Run.

Again the best time of day. Great music and a beautiful beach with a beautiful sunset is all the motivation I need.


After that, a bath. Dinner. A bottle of wine. A game of cards. A book. And bed.


Wednesday's training: Swim (90 mins) / Run (35 mins)

Thursday's training: Swim (90 mins) / Run (45 mins)

Friday's training: Swim (90 mins) / Run (45 mins)


Luke in control

Swimming in the sea is certainly more of a challenge than swimming in the pool.

I like to swim parallel to the shore to get an idea of the distance. Swimming down the coast you are swimming against the current. Plants on the sea bed look like trees blowing in the wind. Even the fish seem to be riding on the current, swimming in the opposite direction to me.


Mark checks out the waves

Like riding into a headwind, swimming against the current is rewarded by an easy ride home. On the road you chase cars. In the sea you chase fish.

Like Jean Reno in The Big Blue, I feel like the sea and me are one...


Boys just wanna have fun

Monday's training: Swim 1 h

Tuesday's training: Swim 90 mins / Run 45 mins (bare foot)


Merry Christmas!

Shinobu and I have everything we want for Christmas in two wonderful boys. Waking up with them is like Christmas every day.


At 8 months old, this is Mark's first Christmas.


At 2 years 7 months, its Luke's 3rd, but the first one he really understands.


In the last ten years I've spent Christmas in many different places and only one back in the UK. Still, being with those most important to you is what counts. しあわせじょんのび。。。


Saturday's training: Run 45 mins (bare foot) Swim 90 mins

Sunday's training: Run 40 mins (bare foot) Swim 45 mins


Born to run is an interesting book even if you're not a runner. It opens up the debate of running bare feet against running with expensive running shoes. You don't need a Pinarello to ride fast, just as you don't need a pair of Nike Air to run fast.....

Each morning I'm running bare foot. Nothing too hard. Just enjoying the sun coming up, the feeling of skin against sand and surf...

Thursday's training: Beach run 45 mins (bare foot), Swim 1 h

Friday's training: Beach run 45 mins (bare foot), Swim 2 h

"Tramps like us? Baby we were born to run!"

aquarius beach.jpg

These days my life consists of sleeping, playing on the beach, eating, boozing, repeat...

I like to do a bit of exercise though.

I always like to run on the beach while on holiday. I've run on some good ones. But the beach here has to be one of the best. A long thin strip of white sand bordered by palm trees on one side, clear blue waters the other.

Running on the beach isn't as easy as it looks in Chariots of Fire. The sand here is quite coarse and has quite a few chunks of coral in it. In running shoes it's easy to get blisters as the shoes get wet and full of sand. Bare feet is better but you have to be careful not to step on any sharp coral.

Running on the beach before breakfast and before the heat of the sun beating down feels great. Stretch on the sand and dive into the sea to cool down.

aquarius beach2.jpg

This beach is also great for swimming. Sheltered by an off shore coral reef, the sea is calm, shallow and clear. Great for the kids. Also great for swimming. I'm enjoying swimming with Luke on his lilo checking out the fish through his window. After about half an hour he's asleep and I put him back on the shore with mum and Mark.

Swimming alone I can venture further and make decent exercise of swimming against the tide and current. So much more fun than in the pool and time passes quickly....


Beach training:

Sunday: Run 1 h (30 mins shoes / 30 mins bare feet)

Monday: Swim 1 h

Tuesday: Run 1 h (30 mins shoes / 30 mins bare feet) / Swim 1 h

Wednesday: Run 30 mins (bare feet) / Swim 1h 30


An evening swim with the boys and some full of beans local kids. Dinner on the balcony. Nothing planned for the next two weeks.... paradiso jyonnobi...


Luke is mad about two things. Animals and vehicles. When we took him to the National Railway Museum in York, UK, in the summer, I thought we'd seen it all.

Japan's National Railway Museum in Omiya, Saitama is even better!


We were lucky to visit on a weekday without the crowds. There's so much to see. And without wanting to sound like an old man, the balance between fun and education is just right.


Old trains, new trains, simulators, model railways. Every “otaku's” dream!

What a difference a day makes weatherwise. Back in deep winter today. Cold wet and miserable.

Chance for another swim. Usually I have a week between swimming sessions. This time just two days since I did 3.5 km on Tuesday. And I can feel it.

The shoulders and arms are tired from the start. With running and to some extent cycling, you can get away with poor form. But in the pool, poor technique shows up easily. It's a real effort to do decent strokes,

Still, push on. 120 laps is a good session.

Thursday's training: Swim 4 lenghts breastroke / 1 length crawl x 120 (3 km)

From tomorrow, my swimming will change from the pool to the South Pacific. Club Tropicana! Can't wait!


What a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky. Days like this are few and far between in the winter in Niigata.

If you have a chance to ride, you have to take it.

Cold in the morning. Ice patches in the shade. Care is needed on the descents.

A bit of climbing though and things warm up. A light sweat on.

No training plan. Just ride easy. Enjoy being on the bike.


Riding in the winter requires more fuel than in warmer months as the body uses energy to keep warm. You also need to make a conscious effort to drink even though you don't feel like it. I was under prepared today. The last few kilometres were a bit of a slog...

I was glad to get home. Raid the fridge. Jump into the bath.


That's the last ride for 2011. I'll do some more cross training.  Swimming and running for a couple of weeks. Focus on the bike in the New Year....

Wednesday's training:

Road: Kitasabashi ~ Kita Jo return + Takayanagi loop (85 km, 650 m climbing, 30 kmph)


Working up the coast today. A younger me would have taken on the wind and rain and ridden there. There's plenty of time for riding in better weather though. Keeping focused on the cross training, today is a chance for a swim.

Swimming is great cross training. Real good base training. Stamina building. Concentrate on the rhythmic breathing.

As the swim gets longer, the body tires. Particularly the arms. Concentrate on the form.

3.5 km today. Not bad for a third off season session in the pool…


Tuesday's training:

Swim 4 lengths breastroke / 1 length crawl x 140 lengths (3.5 km)

Stretching exercises


Running is a good cross training exercise for cycling. Time effective and good for minimising the inevitable winter weight gain.

I've been itching to get going. But I'm cautious as running has much more impact than swimming, cycling and stepping.

Easy does it. 20 minutes. On the treadmill to reduce impact and control the effort.

This time next week I'll be running on the beach...

Monday's training:

1.Stepping machine (level 20 × 30 mins)

2.Running machine 3% incline

8 kmph x 2 mins
9 kmph x 2 mins
10 kmph x 2 mins

8 kmph x 2 mins
9 kmph x 2 mins
10 kmph x 2 mins

8 kmph x 2 mins
9 kmph x 2 mins
10 kmph x 2 mins

3 kmph x 2 mins (20 mins)

3.Floor mat - stretching exercises

Total: 60 mins


Wild weather coming off the Japan Sea today. After asaren we headed for onsen. The aptly named Shiokaze or Salt Wind salt spa.

These days one boy goes in the bath with me and one with Shinobu. Today I had a rare chance to go in on my own. Time for some Sauna Training Sean Kelly style

6 mins x 3 + cold bath

Just put my feet in the cold water. The body cools down quickly. A good circulation exercise.

More stretching too. This is what winter training is all about...


じょんのびTIME year end party last night. All out じょんのび!

I went hard from the gun. I remember singing wild wild life at karaoke, but the rest is a blur...

Still the show must go on. Nothing like asaren to cure a hangover.


Today's plan is to build up slowly to lactate threshold 170 HR. Start out at 45 kmph. Raise the speed 2 kmph for each song. At 59 kmph I'm knocking on the anaerobic door at 168 HR.

Drop back to 45 kmph for one more song.

One more blast Party Hard sees me break through. Hovering at 172 HR.

A hard session merits a longer warm down of 10 minutes. Three days on the rollers. Time for some more stepping and swimming...


Sunday's training:

Rollers ride to the music - Pulp's hits

warm up - 5 mins

01 Babies 45 kmph
02 Razzmatazz 47 kmph
03 Lipgloss 49 kmph
04 Do You Remember the First Time? 51 kmph
05 Common People 53 kmph
06 Sorted for E's & Wizz 55 kmph
07 Disco 2000 57 kmph
08 Something Changed 59 kmph
9 Help the Aged 45 kmph
10 Party Hard 60 kmph

warm down - 10 mins

Total: 55 mins


Three hours in Toys R Us yesterday. We didn't want to leave! All that fun is enough to give anyone a good night's sleep!


But when was the last time to beat the boys out of bed? Last asaren?

Sunny at 630! But it must be snowing in the mountains. Purple skies over the sea looks threatening. Cold too. I opt for the safety of the rollers. This boy must be getting old!


Saturday's training: same training as yesterday.


warm up – easy gear x 5 mins

build up 1 – 150 HR / 100 cadence x 20 mins

build up 2 – 160 HR / 100 cadence x 10 mins

build up 3 – 140 HR ~ 170 HR x 10 mins (4 sets)

warm down - easy gear x 5 mins

Total: 50 mins + hot bath + stretch

  • warm up
  • build up
  • warm down
  • stretch

Sounds simple doesn't it? This is the basics of training. But how often have I ignored it in the past? Since my injury I am committed to this procedure each training session. A promise to myself.

First time on the bike in almost two weeks. First time on the rollers in a month. The heart rate builds up wonderfully. Why can't it always be this easy!?


Friday's training:


warm up – easy gear x 5 mins

build up 1 – 150 HR / 100 cadence x 20 mins

build up 2 – 160 HR / 100 cadence x 10 mins

build up 3 – 140 HR ~ 170 HR x 10 mins (4 sets)

warm down - easy gear x 5 mins

Total: 50 mins + stretch


Another Thursday pool session. Same format as last week. 4 lengths breastroke / 1 length crawl.

Changing to crawl gives the shoulders and neck a chance to relax. It also helps you to focus on technique. And makes counting easier.

The 25m of crawl is like a mini interval spicing up the endurance training. 120 laps today. Pretty much had a lane to myself.

Three days of decent training this week. None on the bike. All done in about an hour.

Thursday's training:

Swim: 4 laps breastroke / 1 lap crawl

Total: 25 m x 120 laps (2.75 km)

Stretch exercises


Another hour on the stepping machine today. I'm not sure which I like less, the cold of the balcony on the rollers or the heat of Kashiwazaki gym's training room. Maybe it's just me, but I'm losing litres of water in sweat loss each time...

Love the stepping machine though. Warm up for 5 minutes building it up to level 20. At level 20 the heart rate creeps up slowly. Break 150HR at the 25 minute mark. Creep over 160HR at the 35 minute mark. After 45 minutes I'm flirting with lactate threshold 170 HR. Concentrating on breathing. Concentrating on stepping rhythm. Keep the heart rate aerobic. Beware the red zone...

Two days of this is quite hard in relation to other kinds of cross training. I'll go for a swim tomorrow...

Wednesday's training:

Stepping machine - level 20, 115 SPM x 60 mins

Floor mat - stretching exercises


On Friday I felt some pains in my leg again. Since then I took 4 days of rest.

I saw the doctor again today and he didn't seem too concerned, "Listen to your body. If you get any pains, rest up..."

I want to train. Just to be fit and get the exercise buzz. However, I don't want to get stuck in a training/injury cycle. To exercise or not to exercise is a difficult choice.

This December we've got two weeks in Japan followed by two weeks on the beach for Christmas. I want to focus on aerobic training, cross training, variety and of course rest. All going well I'll be able to turn it up a notch in January.

Back on the stepping machine today. Level 20 for 60 mins. I love the way the heart rate builds gradually.

Followed by some stretching exercises on the mats.

Tuesday's training: Stepping machine - level 20 × 60 mins (115 spm target, 6700 steps, 1300 m climbing) + stretching exercises


Sometimes I think about Saturday's child
And all about the times when we were running wild
I've been out searching for the dolphins in the sea
Ah, but sometimes I wonder, do you ever think of me


I've loved dolphins since I was a small boy. I'd get books for birthdays, books for Christmas. By the time I was 10 years old, I was quite an expert. A few years ago all my dreams came true and I got to swim with dolphins in the wild off the coast of New Zealand...


On Saturday we went to Marinpia Aquarium in Niigata with Andrew and family. Sean, Luke and Mark seem to be taken by dolphins too. The three of them are growing up so quickly. So full of life. Running wild. Like the dolphins in the sea...

Fri/Sat/Sun: rest

swimming muscle-groups1.jpg

When I asked different doctors about swimming I was met with the same smile each time. Swimming is completely non-contact. Supported in the water. It’s also a full body exercise working all the major muscle groups. Moreover, it’s a great stamina builder. Teach your body how to breathe effectively and in a controlled manner.

I always liked swimming. My technique may not be world-class but I can swim breast stroke all day long.

Miserable day today. I can enjoy a swim though. With nothing to look at in the pool, I always find swimming a great way to refresh the both the body and mind….

Thursday’s training: Swim (25m x 100 laps, 2.5 km, 58 minutes) + stretch



前のアーカイブはandy: 2011年11月です。

次のアーカイブはandy: 2012年1月です。





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